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MSZP keeps anathema on Gyurcsány – for now

November 26th, 2013

A pro-government daily describes Socialist Party chairman Attila Mesterházy as a leader who is unable to get rid of “the shades of the past”, including two of his predecessors, as well as Mr Gyurcsány and Mr Bajnai.

On Sunday the National Board of the Socialist Party decided not to re-open the negotiations on an electoral alliance with Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition and other opposition splinter parties. DK’s recent rise in the polls , tying with Gordon Bajnai’s Together-PM at about 6% of likely voters, has led left-wing analyst to believe that Mr Gyurcsány now “attracts more voters than he scares away”. National Board chairman and Szeged Mayor László Botka said the MSZP could strike a deal with the DK, but not with Ferenc Gyurcsány, with whom they have a personal problem.

In his Magyar Nemzet editorial, László Török depicts the events of the past month as a series of mishaps for Mesterházy, who should never have accepted the idea to appear on the same stage “with discredited figures from the previous era such as Gyurcsány” on October 23rd (see BudaPost, October 28). The Socialists, he continues, took another blow with the fake Baja electoral fraud video scandal (see BudaPost, October 24), whereupon Mesterházy re-activated former party chairs László Kovács and Ildikó Lendvai as advisors, with the latter immediately “campaigning throughout the media for Gyurcsány”.  Mesterházy (and Bajnai as a guest speaker) then convinced the National Board not to re-open negotiations with Gyurcsány – which effectively means that the MSZP is in for a war on two fronts, competing not only with Fidesz but with Gyurcsány’s party as well. What is more, the author believes, they might have to let Gyurcsány in in the end. For Bajnai himself, who is under pressure by “radical liberals” who are  rallying for Gyurcsány, did not completely rule out an eventual deal with the DK. As he put it, any negotiation with Gyurcsány would require a “restoration of confidence after the joint rally on October 23rd”, which was “hacked” by Gyurcsány’s supporters. With Together-PM and DK both hovering just above the parliamentary threshold of 5 per cent, Bajnai may be forced to make peace with Gyurcsány in the end, László Török concludes.

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